Farmers Prepare to Protect Crops During Upcoming Freeze Event

While vegetable farmers may not have much trouble, others are preparing for an upcoming freeze event that could damage their crops.

Co-owner of King Orchards in Central Lake, Jack King says their area is one of the best for growing fruit trees. “That’s because we’re on top of hills so that cold air will roll away from our sensitive fruit trees and if we get any wind at all coming over the lake it picks up a little bit of that warm air and brings it up towards us to protect us on the regular cold night,” he said.

However, when the frost hits, they have to be ready to protect their fruits. “Each time you get a serious cold event it’s taking a little nibble out of that right?” said King. “So each time you get a little nibble, little nibble, little nibble. Now the really cold events, if it does get down to 22, that’s going to be more like a bite than a nibble.”

King Orchards has two $35,000 fans they use when the warm air rises too far, which leaves their trees vulnerable. “It can pull air from about 300 feet up and it will pull it down to the orchard and push around in a big circle,” said King. “I’ve seen it raise the temperature seven degrees in the orchard. So I’ve got two fans with my weather station in between and then I can track that to make sure we’re staying in a good temperature zone.”

King says cold temperatures have potential to hurt all of their fruit trees, but their sweet cherries are what they worry about the most.